Electricity enters your house from the power lines. It passes through the electric meter to the main electrical panel to the breakers, subpanels and lights, receptacles and other appliances. The electric meter has dials to measure kilowatt per hour. You are billed according to this reading. 1 Kilowatt hour equals 1000 watt hours. 1000 watt per hour is the energy required to light ten 100- watt light bulbs for one hour. A representative from the power supply company will visit your house and note the readings in the electric meter. The current reading is subtracted from the previous month’s reading to get the power consumed in the current month.

Reading an electric meter is quite easy. This is very helpful in tracking energy costs and checking the accuracy of your electric bill.

## How to Read Digital Electric Meter

A digital electric meter can be either single register (displays readings in one row of figures) or two register (displays readings in two rows of figures).

1. Reading a single register digital electric meter: When reading a single register meter, write down the numbers from left to right. The last figure marked 0.1 may be ignored.
2. Reading a two register digital electric meter: In a two register digital electric meter, the top row shows the offpeak electricity used. It is marked LOW, NIGHT or RATE 1. The bottom row of this meter shows the normal rate electricity used. It is marked NORMAL, DAY or RATE 2. Take the reading by writing down the numbers left to right in both the rows. The last figure marked 0.1 may be ignored.

## How to Read a Dial Electric Meter

A dial meter consists of 6 dials. The first five dials are for reading purpose while the last dial is for testing purpose. Dials of this meter move in anticlockwise direction. To take the reading, note down the figures from left to right starting with the 10,000kWh dial on the left and stopping after the 1 kWh dial. As mentioned above, the sixth dial is for testing purpose only. In case a dial is pointing between two numbers, the standard practice is to read the lower number.

Dial Home Electric Meter

## Calculating the Cost of Energy Used

Your electric bill is calculated in kilowatt-hours. To calculate the cost of energy used in a day, take reading to 2 days. Subtract the electricity consumption reading of day 1 from the energy consumption reading of day 2. Now you have the electricity used in a single day. To calculate the cost of electricity used, multiply the number of kilowatt-hours by the cost per kilowatt-hour charged by the utility company.

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